Rock Around the World • Isiowmber. 1976

Wings have flown back home for a triumphant three day sell-out series of concerts in London. Their world tour has taken in 66 concerts in the U.S., Australia and some bizarre venues such as St. Mark’s Square. Venice. and Zagreb in Yugoslavia. As if that wasn’t enough. I unearthed the McCartneys working flat out at Abbey Road studios, to produce a live album from their American concerts for Christmas! Although they’ve got 800 hours of tape to sift through, I persuaded Paul. Linda and the band to break for long enough for them to take part in a filmed TV segment of a programme called ‘London Scene’ which I’m presenting. And despite all their hard work, Wings were decidedly bouncy!

“Hello” said Paul, and promptly confiscated my cigarettes (why do superstars never have any of their own!) We talked about their travels, and clearly Wings’ most exciting gig had been Zagreb. their first behind the Iron Curtain. Wings are now hoping to go to Russia, where ‘Band On The Run’ has recently been released. “Any thoughts one might have about Communists being a different audience than the West. were quite wrong,” said Paul. “Perhaps I had thought they would all Stand around in grey coats looking stern. But they were a fantastic audience—they all went loony!”

I turned my attention to Linda. Being the only female in the band, I wondered if she felt the need to act ‘one of the boys.’ “No,’ she replied very definitely. Denny Laine made a camp quip at this. “He . . .” said Linda, indicating Denny, “even lights my cigarettes!”

I asked if she had a separate dressing room–Yes, I do,” at which Paul broke in with “we just share a shower after the match! Apart from going to the unisex barber, we’re really quite ordinary people.” “Sorry Elton!” Linda added.

With Wembley coming up, I pointed out to
Paul that London gigs have been the subject of



Heart came out of nowhere (actually they’ve been gigging around the Pacific Northwest for awhile) with “Magic Man” and “Crazy On You.” two of my favorite singles this year—even if they were played to death. During the band’s L.A. appearances opening for Log-gins & Messina’s farewell Universal Amphitheater sets, and later openings for Jefferson Starship at the Forum, Heart members made every possible Hollywood music scene. And at the Forum, about 15,000 people gave them a standing ovation. Hot band—if you get to see them you’ll get your money’s worth .. .

After getting warm but restrained response during the first half of their Forum set, which was predominantly post-“Dragon Fly,” Star-ship broke into “Somebody To Love” and

finally got everybody (including the band) off their collective arse. Good set, but it lacked much of the real spark of any of the three “Red Octopus” gigs I caught last year—and no “Wooden Ships” this time around, a major bummer for this Lost Angel.

JS wound up their Spitfire tour in the Bay Area, where they’re now doing some serious hanging out. Next album will be a tenth anniversary Jefferson Airplane anthology (hope it’s a double!), and a new Starship album will be ready next summer. Marty Balin, as usual, is talking about several projects at once—an album with Bodacious, a solo 1p, and next summer’s Starship release. And Grace, who almost broke her ankle a few times trying to negotiate the Forum stage in a pair of high heels, will be off to Hawaii this month to tie the domestic knot with Starship light wizard Skip Johnson .

eter Frampton

some criticism lately, the problem being poor sound quality. “Well I think we can say that our sound will be very good,” Paul stated reassuringly. You could see him mentally playing back a tape of what he had just said. “I sound like a Tory politician!”

What of the cost of putting on a show that needs, by Paul’s own admission, a road crew of 40?

“Well, it’s the size of the halls, isn’t it?” he said. “There just aren’t the venues here that hold 20,000, so you can’t make money from concerts here in England, or in Europe, like

Starship, Heart, George (Commander Cody) Frayne, Bernie Taupin, and Stephen Stills were among those sardined at the Roxy at various shows during Ho & Eddie’s three-night stand. Thinly (ha!) disguised as the unassuming collective conscience of rock and rollers everywhere, F&E were in their usual nobody-is-sacred form.

It was all in fun, including priceless parodies of Joni Mitchell doing an FDS commercial and Led Zep doing one for Cruex .. .

Despite his highly-publicized freakout in Miami, Keith Moon stayed on a pretty even keel during the Who’s set at the Bill Graham-produced Grateful Dead/Who mass gathering at the Oakland Coliseum. Daltrey, Townshend, Moon, and Entwhistle—who was celebrating his birthday onstage playin’ in the band—turned in a kinetic if slightly sloppy set, but did not encore. It’s said that Who tradition dictates no encores unless the band feels they’ve done well. Fifty thousand people disagreed by ovating for nearly ten minutes, and were disappointed they got no encore. And, after the incredibly disappointing “Steal Your Face’ collection of performances from their ’74 tour, the Dead laid a marvelously tight—if very laid back—set of latter day Dead classics.

While wandering around the Coliseum between sets in Oakland, your fleetfoot scribe ran into Thom O’Hair, who works at Capricorn here, and of Thom says we can expect some vinyl from Sea Level early next year; the band—Jimmy Neils and former Allman Brothers, Chuck Leavell, Lamar Williams, and Jaimoe Johansen—goes into the studio this month.

During Poco’s etheral “Rose Of Cimarron”

you can in America where there are stadiums to take large audiences. We did think of putting on some small shows in England, scale the whole thing down, but eventually we decided to do the same show we did in America. We’re doing the full one—even though England is in a depressed state!”

And what of Buddy Holly Week, which the McCartneys had launched a few weeks before. “I think it’s important to remember him because not only was he a major influence on rock and roll, but there must be a lot of kids who never heard him. And like you have all these

set-closer at the Civic, yours irreverently thought he heard Rusty Young playing half a dozen synthesisers at the tune’s crescendo. Wrong: the band left the stage but the music never stopped—a full-blown 16-piece string section took the tune out, which blew out the Civic’s walls. Tim Schmit, Paul Cotten, and George Grantham encored with an a capella latter-day Poco classic called “Keep On

Tryin,’ ” which was mighty high and lonesome. An amazing band .. .

The day after Steeleye Span’s sold-out Roxy gig backing their new “Rocket Cottage” 1p, lead vocalist Maddy Prior was poolside at the Chateau Marmont Hotel trying to get a smogtan. I asked her about her antics ‘midst the audiences at Steeleye concerts, and after bumming a cigarette from me (now that’s a switch!) she beamed: “I like to get involved in the audience’s image of our music and performance. It’s almost like being a cheerleader.

“Sometimes I spend more time offstage than on,” Maddy remarked. “It seems that some of those balconies are farther away than they look, and sometimes I have to bolt through the au-

dience to get back onstage in time to finish the song. It worked well enough at the Roxy, because it’s small, but sometimes I’m, bruised and battered by the time I reach the stage again. Can I have a sip of your beer?

“The last time in L.A.,’ she recalled, “we played the Civic, and the security people wouldn’t let me back onstage. I wasn’t wearing a pass, and apparently they failed to see me leave the stage in the first place.” Classically understated, but that’s Maddy Prior ..

Led Zep’s “The Song Remains The Same”
(they said it, not me) album is out, and the film

special Weeks, like Litter Week, so we thought we have a Buddy Holly week, so people won’t forget about him.”

I asked to inspect the fateful Jimmy McCulloch finger. He had broken it just before the start of Wings’ American tour, causing the whole mammoth operation to be put back while the finger mended. “Look, it’s tine now,” said Jimmy. “In fact I’m playing better than ever with it now.”

“Yeah,” said Paul grinning, “we’re going to break his arm next week!”

Peter Frampton had an even more triumphant homecoming when he followed Wings into the same gig at Wembley. I salute America for giving Peter the credit he’s always deserved and kept his “Frampton Comes Alive” album at the top of the charts for so long. I’m sorry to say England hasn’t picked up on Peter’s music to nearly the same degree. But one new album success in the UK is heartening. It’s just called ‘Joan Armatrading,’ by a lady of the same name. This songwriter/singer has been on the edge of happening for some years. Her voice is Nina Simone/Steve Marriott . . . with a marvelous quality of leashed power. Glyn Johns who produced her album finds her talent ‘frightening.’ I find it breathtaking.

Pool players of America . . . watch out for Eric Clapton! On his current U.S. tour he’s taking a pool table everywhere he goes. Which means someone in his retinue will have to set it up and take it down again every day. This operation is thought to be worthwhile as pool is Eric’s latest craze. In London before he left, Eric was taking on all corners and playing for up to $100 a game. His other current craze is Don Williams, who was somewhat stunned at his London concert to find Clapton on stage with him, and Pete Townshend/Van Morrison and Ronnie Lane in the audience! But then country music is where Eric is at. As you’ll hear on his album ‘No Reason to Cry.’

was premiered in L.A. a day early to benefit the Save The Children Federation last Oct. 22.

“You don’t know how lucky you are, boy/ out of the U.S.S.R. . . .” sing Yuri Yalov and Sasha Lerman—and those two recently transplanted Russian rock and roll refugees oughtta know: before they escaped the KGB’s ever-watchful eye, they spent several years

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Photographs by Duane LeMay